Fiber Sculpture 1960-Present

by Jenelle Porter (2014) pp. 256


I remember the excitement when this book was published to coincide with a show by the same name at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston in 2014.  It was a dazzling collection of pieces, largely by important women artists that spanned generations.  Adapting age-old techniques and traditional materials, artists working in fiber manipulate gravity, light, color, mass, and transparency to demonstrate the infinite transformations and iterations of their material. Trailblazers like Magdalena Abakanowicz, Sheila Hicks, Lenore Tawney, and Claire Zeisler were represented in their most bold and radical forms. The color and texture of the large scale pieces in the exhibit must have been breath-taking to to behold.  While I had a few friends that were lucky enough to make the trip, I had to settle for the book version, but I certainly wasn't to disappointed.  

Many older fiber arts books are charming, beautiful. inspiring, sometimes they can be text heavily with little color photography, and sometimes their downright quirky-- what you're usually not going to find are super clear, crisp photography.  On the contrary, it is so refreshing to see a modern book like this in all its stunningly crisp full-color glory, exploring work I had only previously seen in grainy, muted, or blurry aged books (or worse, cell phone photos of those books) online.

This heavy, hardcover coffee table book is a pure eye candy.  The most convincing statement I can make about it is:  If you can't see the original pieces in person, this book is the next best thing.  There seems to be limited copies remaining because I have noticed the price has increased over the years and used copies aren't any cheaper than the new ones...  If you haven't got it yet and its on your list, I would recommend snag one before the price increases further! 

Below from top to bottom, left to right are images from the book of work by


Eva Hesse, 

Elsi Giauque

Aurelia Muñoz

Diane Itter